Creative Care Packages for College Students
Creative Living Ideas

Inspiring Ideas for Creative Care Packages to Surprise and Delight Your College Student

Creative Care Packages for College Students

College life can be challenging for college kids, but receiving a care package from home can brighten their day. For the student, who is away from home for the first time, a taste of home can be especially important.  Being on your own for the first time is usually an exciting time - but it can be a stressful time, too. Not only is Mom and Dad missing having that student around all the time, but the student is most likely experiencing homesickness.  With some creativity and thought, you can come up with a unique and thoughtful care package will go a long way towards bringing a smile to their face and make them feel loved. Also, when the time comes, you can find some unique graduation gift ideas.

When my daughters were in college, I learned how hard it can be to find time to bake cookies or pick up little gifts . . .and then pack them in a box, take it to the post office and stand in line. You don't have to! Creative Gifts to Go as well as other online companies can do it for you.

What are College Care Packages?

Sometimes referred to as college survival kits, college care packages can be welcome to your new dorm rooms, happy birthday, get well, congratulations, good luck on your exams, are simply I'm Thinking of You gifts. They can be anything that make their new friends say "Wow! Your Mom must really think you're special!"

How Much Do College Care Packages Cost?

College Care Packages can range from a few of their favorite snacks packed in a box to some of mom's best cookies or candies to something much more expensive. There is no limit -- either low or high -- for the cost of a college care package. It is up to you how much you want to spend.

How Often Should You Send a College Care Package?

Send a care package to your favorite college student whenever you feel one is needed.  They are great pick-me-ups for homesickness, special occasions for birthdays or a great grade or being accepted into student organizations, when he or she is down with a cold, flu, or other illness, or expecially for "just because."

What is a Creative College Gift Basket Idea?

Here are some creative ideas to show your love and support for that special college student:

Snack Attack Treats

care package of snacksCollege students are often on the go and don't have a lot of time to prepare meals and dining hall meals can become boring, so sending a care package with snacks and tasty treats can be a great way to help them stay fueled and focused throughout the day. They don't have to be gourmet gift baskets either. A delicious treat such as protein bars, beef jerky, and nuts or trail mix can provide a natural energy boost for long study sessions, and individually wrapped snacks make it easier to share with friends. Include healthy snacks to keep them fueled throughout the day. You can just ship them in a box or create a snack gift basket to make it more special.

Personal Care Items

Cherry Blossom and Jasmine bath giftSending a care box with personal items can be a terrific way to support college students in keeping clean and comfortable because they are frequently busy and don't always have time to go to the shop. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, toothpaste, and floss are possible inclusions. But don't forget the items that will encourage them to pamper themselves, like face masks, lotions, lip balms, bubble bath or shower gel, a scented candle, or a package of their favorite tea.

Laundry Essentials

If this is their first time away from home, doing their own laundry may be a new experience to them. In that case, a great gift may be a tote filled with laundry supplies to make it easier for them. If they are using coin-operated laundry machines, a great addition would be a roll of coins.

Study Essentials

graduation rosewood pen in rosewood boxSending a care box containing products like pens, pencils, highlighters, note cards, sticky notes and a notebook can be a terrific way to support them in being organized and ready for their classes since college students constantly need school supplies. Additionally, you might include some refreshments to keep them satisfied throughout those late-night study sessions and finals week.

Cooking and Baking

Even though they are young adults, many college students live independently for the first time and may not have the time or know-how to cook for themselves. Send them a care package filled with cooking and baking essentials, such as a cookbook, measuring cups, and a baking tray. You could also include some easy-to-make recipes and a list of ingredients for them to make their first few meals.

Hot Drinks

If your college student has access to a microwave, a gift box filled with an assortment of hot drinks they can sip on while studying or recovering from a cold will be very much appreciated. If they don't have a microwave, include an electric kettle so that they can boil water in your care package. Hot drinks can include an assortment of teas, instant coffee with non-dairy creamer and sugar packets, and hot cocoas. These come in a variety of flavors so make sure to include a variety. Instant soups could be another addition that they would enjoy.  You could even include a fun mug.

Home Comforts

College students often miss home and the familiar things that remind them of it. A great way to remind them that they're loved and supported is by sending a care package with home comforts like their favorite blanket, a digital picture frame filled with photos of family and friends, a candle, or a framed picture. These home comforts will help them make every inch count to fully utilize a dorm room.

Entertainment Gifts

College can be stressful, and students often need a fun way to take a break from their studies. Sending a care package with entertainment items like a book, magazine, DVD, or video game can be a great way to help them relax and unwind. Send a board game, deck of card, or a puzzle to play with friends. Or package some microwave popcorn (make sure they have access to a microwave), a DVD or streaming service gift card and a cozy blanket or fuzzy socks for a nigh in.

Tech accessories

Students in college are frequently on the go and largely reliant on technology. Sending a care package that includes digital gadgets like a phone charger, earphones, or a power bank can be a terrific way to ensure they stay connected and charged.

First Aid or Medicine Pack

If you didn't send one off with that student, send them a first aid kit or a packet of basic medicines that they may need like pain reliever pills, stomach remedies, cold medicine, antacids, throat lozenges, bandages, allergy medicine, and antibiotic ointment. It's hard to get sick away from home and a few carefully chosen medicines in their dorm room can make recovery easier. This is something that they won't think of buying until they actually need them. Then they won't feel like going out to the grocery store to get them. So make sure they are adequately prepared.

Cash or Gift Cards

All college students can use money or a gift card. It doesn't need to be a lot! An extra 10 bucks can make a world of difference in a college budget. Include a gift card or a few dollars in a card that you mail to them or in a care package filled with other things. Either way, it will be appreciated.

Customized Care Package

Create a personalized care package by including items specific to the student's interests, hobbies, and needs. That will show them that you put extra thought and care into their package. There are a lot of ideas for going away gifts for friends who start college. For example, if the student is into photography, send them a camera lens, a polaroid camera, or a photo album. How about a DIY craft project kit to help them unwind and relax. A set of watercolors, sketchbook or calligraphy pens can provide a creative outlet.


Care package ideas for college students are a wonderful way to let that college student know that you suport and are thinking of him or her. Your first care package to them when they arrive at college can include a variety of things that you know they will enjoy and use. Then follow up periodically with one of our creative care package gift ideas for any occasion or just because to remind them that you are thinking of them. And to make it even more special, make sure that you include a handwritten note.

How to Say I'm Thinking of YOu

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